Microsoft unveils Surface Pro 6 with new matte black finish and quad-core processors

Microsoft is refreshing its Surface Pro tablet / laptop hybrid today. It’s been almost a year and a half since the Surface Pro was last updated, and today’s refresh sees Microsoft add Intel’s 8th Gen processors and a new black color variant. It’s the first time in at least five years that we’ve seen Microsoft use black on the Surface Pro since the original Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2.

The matte black finish covers the entire Surface Pro 6, and you can swap out the keyboard for different colors as usual. Microsoft’s black coloring is not the only new addition here, though. Microsoft’s Surface chief, Panos Panay, says the company has overhauled the inside of the Surface Pro 6 so it has improved cooling. That means the Surface Pro 6 now supports quad-core processors, and Microsoft claims it will be 67 percent faster than the previous model.

This new internal design should also help improve battery life. Microsoft says the Surface Pro 6 will last for 13.5 hours on battery life. While there’s an internal redesign, the outside looks very familiar. It’s still 1.7 pounds, and it has the same 12.3-inch display and up to 16GB of RAM inside.

Unfortunately, the Surface Pro 6 will include the same connectivity and external design as the existing model, which means there are still no USB-C ports. It’s surprising Microsoft still isn’t adopting USB-C in its flagship Surface Pro, especially given the company has introduced this new connector on both the Surface Go and Surface Book 2.

Microsoft says the Surface Pro 6 will start at $899 with an Intel Core i5 processor, and it will be available on October 16th.


Please tell me they played "Back in Black" to the intro video. I loved it when they did "Thunderstruck" for the Surface Pro 4 event.

They didn’t bc this hardware event is so disappointing and lame. They didn’t even bothered to livestream it for the fans to watch it live

No USB-C, no buy.

Jesus christ. How did they manage to screw that up AGAIN?! Seriously – it would have been a no-brainer with TB3.

USB C is hard to excuse, but TB3 is still down to the unchanged PCI-E lane counts from Intel, they’re using 4 for the SSD and 4 for the GPU in the keyboard base and then the baseline system stuff, so they don’t have any left for TB3.

TB3 actually makes USB-C easy to excuse because if they don’t need to put a "USB-C without TB3", they might as well not put a USB-C at all and let those who really want the "USB-C without TB3" buy a Surface USB-C adapter.

Makes perfect sense now. They just want to sell more dongles while waiting for the demand for Thunderbolt to rise.

In the Surface Go, USB-C makes more sense because people don’t expect TB3 to be included in a sub-$700 product. Probably learned their lesson with the Surface Book 2 when it still got dinged for lack of TB3 even though there is a USB-C port.

In a way you can’t fault Microsoft for not giving the SP6 and SL2 a design refresh but can’t say I wouldn’t have liked to see a slight refresh.

apparently the next version of Surface Pro is a complete refresh… so this micro update kind of makes sense. Quad core is nice but ill be waiting for that next Surface… bezel seems dated at this point!

The next refresh would be late 2019 at the earliest though, and Spring 2020 more likely.

Bezel is timeless design.

Bezel seems to be about the right size, ie a thumb’s width. Anything less is a pain to handle.

Apparently next year is the big hardware redesign for Surface Pro…

Honestly the fact that they keep the design consistent across model years is actually a plus in my book. If you have an SP4 right now, all your accessories should work/fit with the SP6 without any issues.

WTF. No freaking USB-C/TB3. Literally the only thing everyone’s asking for.

Doing a search for "ThunderBolt 3" on Amazon returns a bunch of docking stations and a few hard disks. Do you desperately need an off-branch port expander, or is TB3 just a checkbox feature?

The surface dock is great and appears to do more than any of the docks on the first six pages of Amazon results.

There are some neat, but very niche use cases for TB3… for example you can use 2 4k Displays at 60Hz.

…but yeah as for most tech enthusiastic people that want TB3, they just probably want it, because it’s the "future", but don’t have an actual use case for it.

IMHO TB3 will never go Mainstream… when the larger bandwith becomes more important for everyone, we’ll probably have already some nextgen port, maybe Thunderbolt 4 or a new USB standard.

The future is USB-C. Thunderbolt is just a niche connector that won’t last forever. USB-C does all the same things with half the licensing fee.

TB3 should be free from 01.01.2018, and USB doesn’t have the same bandwidth.

Not many things need that bandwidth, though external NVMe drives certainly do.. however, TB3 is just a USB-C Alt mode so they could always release an actual TB3 adapter for the Surface connector at some point.

Thunderbolt requires hardware compatibility. There would have to be PCIe lanes routed to the surface connector.

External GPU.

eGPU’s are still very niche and will always be. I don’t know anyone who uses them.

The cases that can actually manage a decent GPU are so expensive (300-600 USD), that you could just as well build/buy a desktop PC instead and use the Surface for mobile purposes only. They also still have quite a few issues, caveats and at the end of the day, you’re still using a mobile CPU. As said earlier, for the same price you could also just build a PC for the same or a similar price and have an actual secondary machine with a proper desktop CPU, proper cooling etc.

I use one. The dock was $200 and the GPU (RX 580 8GB) was $200. I plug my Mac in, and it instantly turns on the connected monitor, begins charging the laptop, provides much enhanced graphical power, and mounts a SATA connected SSD as a drive. In macOS the process is seamless.

I already have a desktop with a GTX1070 so the initial outlay would just be the enclosure. I can then use the same enclosure if I want to upgrade GPUs in the future.

I could then get rid of my desktop and use the Surface for everything – which would be pretty amazing.

Surface Dock comprised the single ugliest 3 seconds in that entire presentation video. It contrasts every literal facet on the Surface.

If you didn’t care about USB-C, then you’d also not care about the Dock. If you care about owning and actively using this computer for more than two years, though, then you also don’t care about using that comically sized and shaped brick of a dock while everyone around you uses a simple USB-C cable.

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